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Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 | 1 comment

A Stylish Makeover by a Home Improvement-Loving Couple

A Stylish Makeover by a Home Improvement-Loving Couple

Brian and Sarah bought their duplex three years ago.  At the time, the house was considered inhabitable and scared away potential buyers. Brian and Sarah were eager to own their first home and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. But first, they had to do something about the smell. The previous owner, who had been there 40 plus years,  was an avid indoor smoker. The ceilings and walls in the house had considerable smoke damage and required several time-consuming treatments as well as at least two coats of paint on every surface. On top of that, the house immediately needed a new roof — the ceiling was collapsing in the guest room. They also had to take care of some critter issues and address the desperate kitchen and unfinished basement. So what did it look like? Here is the living room at the time they bought the house. Ok, doesn’t look too bad, but you can’t smell over the Internet. After lots and lots of cleaning, priming, and painting, here is the stunning transformation. Sarah and Brian...

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 | 3 comments

Weekend Project: Turning Empty Space Below the Stairs Into Useable Storage

Weekend Project: Turning Empty Space Below the Stairs Into Useable Storage

For those of us who live in the typical Del Ray rowhouse, we long for ideas to create more storage but not take up more room.  Most of us have basements that boast some sort of hollowed out space below the stairs leading from the main floor to the basement.  I’ve dreamt of turning that space into an office alcove or cutting out the wall and putting in storage like this. But, as life got crazy, sadly I never got around to it.  Have no fear though, my good friend Zach, who has a great rowhouse in Warwick Village, decided to tackle the basement project over the weekend.  Yes you heard right, my overachiever (in a good way) of a friend did this in two days while his wife and cute baby girl were away. Here is a before picture of what the wall looked like before the construction began. After determining the size of the shelves, Zach cut away the drywall, framed up the structure with 2″x 3″ wall studs and covered the...

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Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 | 6 comments

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

When I married my husband I also married his expansive music collection, including Lionel Richie and Marvin Gaye, gospel music, country, old school rap, and hair bands.  He, like his father and grandfather, has a deep appreciation of all music genres.  This, coupled with the need to collect things, has led to a LARGE collection of cds. When we moved into our house four years ago we put the cds away in boxes and housed them in our one basement storage closet.  But, as the years passed, and we accumulated toys and new heirlooms, the need for space became a HUGE issue — I mean, when is space not at a premium in our area?! Unfortunately, the cds were not going away and Paul wouldn’t let me get a storage unit so we needed to figure out a solution both of us could agree on.  This is where the man cave discussion came in:  We decided to do a basement renovation to turn an ordinary unfinished basement into a music lover’s, kid-friendly man cave. Now, as easy as this may sound, it actually took all of four...

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2011 | 2 comments

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Let’s Get Organized! Creative Storage for Small Spaces

Undoubtedly, the subject comes up in all of my conversations with folks from the Del Ray area — I can’t get organized because I don’t have STORAGE!  Well my friends, I’m here to report that we have options! We have had the great opportunity to tour many houses in the Del Ray area and have gone through our own houses to offer you some easy solutions for organization and storage.  So sit back, take notes and apply: Books What to do with all of your books (because we’re all smart, we have so many). This is a built-in bookshelf in the entryway, jammed with books, DVDs, and CDs. A great use of space. Why not color-code your books while you’re at it and make it a piece of art? We’ve seen this idea fulfilled in two home tours, the perfect book shelf for small homes. In one, the homeowner took out the upper railing and installed a bookshelf with a new railing. In the other, the stairway has become a...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 | 0 comments

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

One year ago, my son Henry was born.  He was 3 months early and had a loooong road to recovery.  Now he’s a healthy little baby whom we’re so proud of. Saturday we hosted an open house for his 1st birthday to show our appreciation for the many people who helped us through those difficult months.  I also used it as an excuse to hone  my DIY party skills using a blue, teal and orange color palette.  Below are shots of the party.  Enjoy! Balloon walkway — so easy and fun to do! After the party the kids had a great time with them. Birthday banner and first glimpse of the food stations: Our fun balloon garland. We took a needle and threaded string through the balloons — so easy! The food mecca. It’s hard to find orange and blue food so of course I had to rely on goldfish, cheese balls and other fantastically terrible food for this party. The cupcakes are compliments of our fantastic friend, Jill Agudelo....

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